Explore the most popular wildlife trails in Franklin Mountains State Park with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

6 days ago

Awesome hike but very challenging! The first 15mins of the hike is mainly on big, loose gravel. Followed by a nice shallower path. To get to the division of Tin Mines and North Franklin took me 45mins with a good tempo. From there the trail got very narrow and rocky...took me an hour to get to the top. The view is awesome! I like that this trail brings you on both sides of the mountains before leading to the top. Worth the hike but very difficult.

12 days ago

The best way to approach this trail is from Mckellington Canyon to Smuggler’s Pass. Park two cars, one at smuggler’s and start at Mckellington. From the Mckellington Canyon side, you’ll see that the trails is marked with blue dots on rocks and you’ll go up all the chain sections which is safer. Once you’re pass the Window, just take the trail towards the South Franklin Mountain (the peak with all the satellite towers). You’ll skirt around the peak of South Franklin Mountain and cross the saddle. If you want to summit South Franklin peak, this is a good point because it is only 0.2 miles to the summit. Looks for blue dots going down towards trans mountain road.

The confusion with many of the reviews is from those approaching the Ron Coleman from smuggler’s Pass. There are many trails headed toward Elephant’s Trunk and Elephant’s Rock. Don’t take those. If you are approach from smuggler’s Pass, take the trail that goes up a wash between South Franklin and elephant trunk. But I suggest approaching this trail from the route I mentioned above.

Happy Trails

I like to walk this trail after work in the morning El Paso was lucky to have such a pretty trail. Right now the desert Willows are in bloom and are very showy. Like anything in the desert go early or you will be hot!

Needs designated parking signs...but all in all an awesome hike!!

This trail was very well marked and easy to follow. Lots of stairlike formations which makes it a little easier just tough on the knees.

This was definitely a rough hike. Most of the time we were not on a trail. We were able to see the flags and we just kept climbing upward. After the B-36 site we headed on up but it was very tough with the rocks sliding. Once at the top we were able to come down the other side from ranger peak and 1000 step trail. Way easier cause there was at least a trail to follow.

the hike is quite boring, but the mine at the end is worth the trip

I did this trail on a cloudy day with some fresh wind, very nice weather to hike! The rim starts at the end of the Mundy’s Gap Trail and although it is rocky and steep, it is not difficult to walk. At the top of the mountains I put my backpack on the floor and walked around the area contemplating the beautiful landscape in all directions. Going down is the most difficult part; you have to take care of the loose rocks. I also rested a bit at the nice West Cottonwood spring area, a place with a very comforting shadow. Very nice trail, I enjoyed a lot.

A hard hike is an understatement. We started from Trans Mountain and went up to the “Elephant” and then skirted the the top rim to come down. There is no definitive trail to go up or down so we just sort of made our own. Very loose rock and dirt and I was so glad when we got to the top. Beautiful views once at the top bit today was extremely windy. Didn’t make it to the chain section as we were not sure which direction to go so maybe for another day.

trail running
1 month ago

Great trail, can be difficult at times to find the path.

Took my dogs out on an easy walk. No shade and not real busy but worth a walk. My dogs had a great time with this walk.


Steep and rocky hike but worth the views. I wouldn’t recommend in the summer since there’s no shade. Definitely worth it, the highest point in El Paso. Lots of cholla cacti near the peak.

1 month ago

Not for people with knee problems.

Took my dogs on the trail. They loved it. No shade so they did get quite a bit thirsty. 10/10 would walk my dogs again.

The trail is challenging but coming down on the Wyler tramway was amazing!!! Great last Sunday hike

2 months ago

Man this was a hard trek!! We fell off the trail multiple times and just ended up creating our own path for most of the way up, thanks for the amazing rock formations that kept us on the trail at the start! Amazing views the entire way but was definitely challenging! Everything pokes ya and there’s nothing to hold on to when climbing the rocks that won’t hurt haha! We loved it though and it felt amazing to finish it when I wanted to give up because of the heat!

nature trips
2 months ago

My 7yr old loves this trail! Perfect for kids and the birdwatching is so cool!

2 months ago

One of my coolest hikes with my kids to this date. its a hard hike for kiddos 7 and 8, but if they like to explore... a scratch and bruce its treasure.

It's so beautiful here!! love this trail

2 months ago

Second time doing this trail this time early morning to get to the top to watch the sunrise. It’s a tough hike and definitely some challenging spots. Sections that are steep and have loose rocks.

really fun trail to take the kids on.

2 months ago

this is thus far the most challenging trail i have been on. i struggled finding the trail until i started using the app. thank you to those who build the rock formations. i wouldnt recommend kids or dogs, but not all kids are equal. read up on it before you go. https://www.google.com/amp/s/davetzold.com/2012/07/08/b-36-crash-franklin-mountains-1953/amp/

awesome hike, definitely recommend this.

Very easy to get off course. If you’re like us, you’ll take the first right which will eventually lead you into a gravel valley area. We went right up the crevasse (instead of out, like I believe was intended). We tracked it using the app and made our way back out to the normal trail but not before some rock climbing through mild vegetation. Either way, it was very cool and the views were great. Might be harder for small children due to the intense climb back up the hill at the end.

At the start of the trail, you turn right (left is Mundy trail), and from there on out you can choose either direction because they take you to the same place, the glider take off. Great for resting, eating, views, you name it. From then take the left trail (will merge with Mundy trail again) and follow the signs. It will all loop back to the beginning. One of my favorite hikes so far!

Paved all the way up. Was great for biking, running, and training (we filled out packs with weights). The views aren’t as spectacular as some other trails of the same length but it was still cool!

Definitely not easy. I personally wouldn’t take young kids or pets unless you’ve all hiked a hard trail before. That being said it was challenging and definitely one of the coolest hikes I’ve done yet. For first timers I would suggest going to the Last Sunday Hike that Wyler does for free at the end of every month.

2 months ago

Nice easy walk with some cool bird watching right at the start. Great for all ages.

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